To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
This is a reference to God the Father as the author of the divine plan - God the Father Who in grace turns cursing into blessing and brings great happiness out of suffering. Amen means “I believe it.” Here is the faith-rest response to God’s provision for the believer in time of disaster.
Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!
Through Silvanus means that Peter dictated this epistle, he didn’t write it himself. Our faithful brother is Silvanus, a person who is mentioned only this once. He was faithful in doing a job as unto the Lord and the indication here is that God is aware of those who are doing the apparent “little things.”
Briefly means a few. In other words, I have written a few words. Peter hasn’t time to write a lengthy epistle. There is a race between getting this epistle to its destination ahead of Nero’s soldiers and in this way God protects the Canon of Scripture and limits it to those things which every generation of believers must know and understand. Exhorting means to encourage. The purpose of Peter is to encourage believers who are under pressure or about to go under pressure.
Testifying means to be a solemn witness. The whole purpose of this epistle is to be a solemn witness to other believers regarding the true grace of God in which you are to stand. Stand fast in the grace of God is the order of the day because much suffering is headed your way.
She who is Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.
She is a reference to the church in Rome. This isn’t the literal city of Babylon; it is Rome (the name for Rome in the Book of Revelation). (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17 and 18) Peter was writing from Rome at the time of Nero’s persecutions of the Christians. Peter is writing to warn these people. He had discovered while in Rome that Nero was sending troops out to the people to whom this was addressed. But why doesn’t he say he is in Rome? Because if this letter is intercepted the Romans will not know where Peter is. The Christians understood that Rome was called Babylon. So the believers know where Peter is and they know that the warning is coming from Rome and, therefore, they will take it seriously. Mark is John Mark of Acts 15:37-39, Colossians 4:10 and II Timothy 4:11. Mark is also the penman of the Gospel of Mark, though it was dictated to him by Peter.
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.
The kiss was used for respect as well as love. Therefore it became the customary greeting in the royal family of God under the title of “holy kiss.” The holy kiss was the expression of impersonal love. It was a greeting of respect for the imputed righteousness of God residing in another believer. In effect, the holy kiss was recognition that the believer you were kissing also had the same righteousness of God which you had. This command must be interpreted in the time in which it was written. We are 2000 years from this custom and therefore we portray this custom in a very simple way: by the fulfilment of the royal family honor code—impersonal love. However, in our society we are Anglo-Saxon by culture and we do not have the holy kiss any longer. The command to greet each other with a holy kiss is simply a command to love the brethren—impersonal love.
Peace with God is the doctrine of reconciliation, but peace from God is a fruit of the Spirit.
There are two words for reconciliation in Greek. One word “diallasso” means to reconcile two parties who are mutually hostile toward one another. The second word “katallasso” means to reconcile two parties where only one party is hostile toward the other. “Katallasso” is the word used for reconciliation to God. This means that it is man who is “hostile” towards God and has become rebellious by means of his inherent sin nature. It means that mankind is the enemy of God and it is man who needs to be reconciled to God. Literally, “katallasso” means to change or to exchange (originally referring to money). It came to mean a change from being one’s enemy to being one’s friend. This is the meaning throughout the New Testament. At salvation, the believer is reconciled to God. This means that the believer is no longer God’s enemy but that peace has been made as a result of the person’s change of mind towards Christ (the true meaning of repentance). (Romans 5:10) Reconciliation is accomplished by the removal of a barrier that exists between God and man. Once this barrier is removed, the possibility exists for peace between God and man. The barrier that separates God from man is sin. Every person is born with a sin nature, which is passed down genetically from the father. Man also possesses Adam’s original sin, which is imputed to him at birth by God. It is Adam’s original sin that condemns man. Personal sins are committed because man possesses a sin nature. (Ephesians 2:14-18) Since God can have nothing to do with sin, the “sin barrier” must be removed so that mankind can have a relationship with God. Jesus Christ is the Sin-bearer, which means that He was judged for our sin (inherent sin, Adam’s original sin and our personal sins). The judgment of sin satisfied the righteousness and justice of God. The person who accepts Jesus Christ as his “Sin-bearer” is immediately reconciled to God, having been placed in union with Christ. This means that a believer is no longer God’s enemy but that peace now exists between this individual and God. Since God is not a “respecter of persons,” (He is impartial and unprejudiced) anyone (both Jew and Gentile) who believes in Christ as Savior (the Sin-bearer) will be reconciled to God. What Paul shows us in Ephesians 2:14-18 is that everyone in the Church Age (from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture) who personally believes in Jesus Christ as Savior becomes part of the body of Christ. Generally speaking, the Jews believed in one God and were very moral. The Gentiles, on the other hand, believed in many gods and were very immoral. Paul shows us that there is no distinction in the body of Christ. There is no racial distinction, no social distinction and no gender distinction. (Galatians 3:28) Reconciliation takes place instantaneously at salvation. The results cannot be felt or seen; it takes place spiritually. Notice that Colossians 1:21 says we were “aliens and enemies in our minds.” The Greek word for enemy is “echthros” and primarily denotes hatred or hostility. The word also means adversary and is used of Satan. The Greek word for aliens is “apallotrioo” and means to be estranged from. This means that prior to salvation we were estranged from and the enemies of God. Since this hatred is in the mind, it is our thinking that needs to be transformed before and after salvation.
When a person responds to the message of the Gospel, they automatically change their mind (the true meaning of repentance) from lack of faith in Christ to faith in Christ. For a believer in Christ, peace now exists between them and God and they are no longer estranged from God. (Colossians 1:21-23) The context of Colossians 1:23 tells us that this verse is not talking about positional truth, but experiential truth. The “if” clause in verse 23 tells us that it is only potential…“maybe you will be presented blameless and maybe you won’t.” The other result of reconciliation is that the believer is now qualified for a resurrection body. Even though reconciliation takes place while we are in this body, we will be presented to Christ in our resurrection body. The believer now has the potential of being presented blameless, without reproof (unreproveable) before Jesus Christ. The word for blameless and unreproveable in Greek is “anenkletos” and means “with nothing laid to one’s charge after public investigation.” It depends on whether or not you continue in doctrine (the faith), being grounded and settled in the full confidence of the Gospel. The Greek word for grounded is “themelioo” and would be better translated foundation or founded. The Greek word for settled is “hedraios” and means seated, as in your mind. The word for continue in Greek is “epimeno” and means to remain. In other words, you will be presented with “nothing laid to your account” if you remain on track by building a foundation of accurate doctrinal truth in your mind and not sliding into reversionism.
Peace from God is a fruit of the Spirit. Peace from God is produced in the life of a believer when he is advancing toward spiritual maturity through the consistent study and application of Bible doctrine. We call this process execution of the Christian Way of Life and the key to its execution is the filling of God the Spirit. As a believer advances in the spiritual life under the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit, the character of Jesus Christ is being formed in his soul. These characteristics are outlined in Galatians 5:22-25. Philippians 4:4-7 also gives us a biblical lesson on peace from God. This passage is a reference to the Faith-Rest Technique. Rejoice in the Lord means to share the happiness of God, be anxious for nothing is another way of saying a relaxed mental attitude and offering the proper prayer is a sign of spiritual maturity with the result of producing the peace of (from) God.
The only lasting peace is found in Christ. In Christ means a person has placed their faith in Jesus Christ as the payment for their sin and that they have been entered into union with Jesus Christ by means of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This union brings to this person who is now a believer 40 spiritual assets of which all but one are permanent. The filling of the Holy Spirit is the only asset that is temporary which is lost by committing personal sin. Restoration to fellowship with God by naming or admitting your sin directly to God restores the filling of the Holy Spirit.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is neither seen nor felt. It is a fact stated in the Word of God for us to believe. Technically, it is when the believer is placed into union with Jesus Christ at salvation. There are seven baptisms in the Bible and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is but one of these. The word for baptism in Greek is “baptisma” and literally means “to dip.” It was used to describe the dyeing of a garment or the drawing of wine by dipping the cup into the bowl. Since John the Baptist and Jesus used the word to describe water baptism as submersion, the accurate interpretation of the word is “to dip into or submerge.” (I Corinthians 12:13)
When a person trusts Christ as Savior they are positionally “dipped into” or “submerged” into the “body of Christ.” This, of course, is speaking of positional truth, signifying our union with Christ. Water baptism for believers has always been a picture of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Submersion into water pictures how the believer becomes united with Christ. (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:4-5)
The filling of the Holy Spirit is for every believer in Christ. The purpose of this filling is to empower the believer to live the Christian Way of Life. When a believer is living the Christian Way of Life, he brings glory and honor to Christ. All believers are immediately filled with the Holy Spirit the moment they trust Christ as their Savior. The first time we sin after salvation however, we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit and we are out of fellowship with God. In order to restore both the filling of the Holy Spirit and our fellowship with God, we must simply name our known sins to God. (I John 1:9) We are then commanded to move forward with the execution of the Christian Way of Life, which the Scripture calls “walking in the light.” (I John 1:5-10) The filling of the Holy Spirit is potential, depending on the volition (free will) of the believer. It is also a command and literally means “keep on being filled with the Spirit.”
To be filled is to be controlled by or empowered by the Holy Spirit in the same manner as a person is controlled by alcohol when he is intoxicated. We choose to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives by allowing Him to control our thinking. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ.” This means we must have the Word of God stored in our souls. It is this doctrinal information that the Holy Spirit uses to control our lives. Divine Viewpoint Thinking produces divine production. (Ephesians 5:18)
The Greek word for “filling” is “pleroo” and has four meanings, which all apply to the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit.